Lanark & Hamilton East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 8772 (15.9%)
Labour: 16876 (30.5%)
Lib Dem: 1203 (2.2%)
SNP: 26976 (48.8%)
UKIP: 1431 (2.6%)
MAJORITY: 10100 (18.3%)

Category: Semi-marginal SNP seat

Geography: Scotland, Central and South Scotland. Part of the South Lanarkshire council area.

Main population centres: Hamilton, Lanark, Larkhall, Bothwell.

Profile: Like the neighbouring East Kilbridge, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat, this seat consists of a compact urban area towards Glasgow, tied to a huge larger rural area to the south. In the northern part of the seat are the suburb of Uddingston, where Tunnocks teacakes are manufactured, the upmarket and affluent suburb of Bothwell and the eastern half of the large service and administrative town of Hamilton. It includes Hamilton Park Racecourse and the Hamilton Campus of the University of the West of Scotland. Further south is the former industrial town of Larkhall, beyond which the seat stretches eastwards into open countryside and farmland around the traditional market town of Lanark.

Politics: Created in 2005 after extensive boundary changes in the local area, this was a safe Labour seat at Westminster but fell to the SNP in their 2015 landslide.

Current MP
ANGELA CRAWLEY (SNP) Born Hamilton. Educated at Stirling University. South Lanarkshire councillor. First elected as MP for Lanark & Hamilton East in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 6981 (15%)
Lab: 23258 (50%)
LDem: 5249 (11%)
SNP: 9780 (21%)
Oth: 1286 (3%)
MAJ: 13478 (29%)
Con: 5576 (13%)
Lab: 20072 (46%)
LDem: 8125 (19%)
SNP: 7746 (18%)
Oth: 2070 (5%)
MAJ: 11947 (27%)
Con: 5034 (13%)
Lab: 17822 (47%)
LDem: 4111 (11%)
SNP: 10028 (26%)
Oth: 1227 (3%)
MAJ: 7794 (20%)
Con: 7396 (16%)
Lab: 23859 (53%)
LDem: 3796 (8%)
SNP: 10050 (22%)
Oth: 311 (1%)
MAJ: 13809 (30%)

2015 Candidates
ALEX ALLISON (Conservative) Farmer. Former South Lanarkshire councillor.
JIMMY HOOD (Labour) Born 1948, Lesmahagow. Educated at Lesmahagow Higher Grade School and Nottingham University. Miner. Newark and Sherwood councillor 1979-1987. MP for Clydesdale 1987 to 2015.
GREGG CULLEN (Liberal Democrat)
ANGELA CRAWLEY (SNP) Born Hamilton. Educated at Stirling University. South Lanarkshire councillor.
Comments - 53 Responses on “Lanark & Hamilton East”
  1. Nobody has commented on this constituency yet!

    I wonder why? 🙂

  2. It’s such an obvious PC gain I don’t think anyone felt the need to bother. 😛

  3. One slight point of interest might be if Jimmy Hood will stand again. Only Tom Clarke, Charles Kennedy & Gordon Brown of all Scotland’s MPs who have not announced their retirement have served for longer – Hood was first elected for Clydesdale in 1987 and has at times had some ill-health. It wouldn’t be a major surprise if he retired late. 1987 was also the year Alistair Darling was first elected.

  4. Jim Hood has used Parliamentary Privilege to name Leon Brittan for his, “…inappropriate conduct with children.”

  5. Still betting on an obvious PC gain James?

  6. Doubtful whether this is a safe seat any more. Jim Hood may hold it for Labour or may not. There are plenty of other seats that had massive Labour majorities in 2010 which are now marginals between Labour and the SNP.

    The SNP are far from guaranteed to take it, but they have a chance of taking it. At the least Hood’s majority will be greatly reduced.

  7. Given that this seat will have voted No quite comfortably last year, there might (perhaps?) be an unusually good chance of a Labour hold here.

  8. The problem for them is that Labour seem to have all but abandoned the seat – it wasn’t given a dedicated organisers like most of their other seats and the majority isn’t especially high. There is a bit of a tory vote though that they might be able to squeeze so it’s possible but I don’t see it myself, especially as the SNP hold both Clydesdale and Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse at the Scottish Parliament. If the MP had been a bit more high profile though I think they might have rated it higher on the list of salvageable seats.

  9. Consider my comment more as an observation than a prediction.

  10. Labour Hold

  11. What chacteristic does the new MP for this constituency share with the member for Gainsborough, and no other current MP?

  12. @Barnaby – their surnames are the names of other constituencies. Where do I collect my prize?

  13. Lanark & Hamilton East is the only “Labour Heartland seat” without any sizeable Liberal Democrat/Conservative presence to vote have a combined ‘Yes’ party vote of less than 50%.

    This is a very impressive result when the equivalent Scottish Parliament seat (Hamilton, Larkhall & Stonehouse) had a No vote of 55%.

    This is similar to the Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock seat which had a No vote of 55% and a ‘Yes’ party vote of less than 50%, however there is a sizeable Conservative vote in south Ayr.

  14. The boundaries of this seat are pretty abysmal.
    The town of Blantyre sticks out to the north of this constituency, with it’s neighbouring Rutherglen & Hamilton West seat sinking south into half of Hamilton. In all respects, Blantyre should be groupped with Rutherglen to allow for the town of Hamilton to be contained within a single Westminister constituency.

  15. The reason for the really strange constituencies in South Lanarkshire was decision by the boundary commission to regard the East Kilbride constituency as sacrosanct.

    Otherwise, Rutherglen (and Cambuslang) could have been linked with the East Kilbride North and Lanark with East Kilbride South, preserving Hamilton in one Constituency.

    Alternatively, Rutherglen could have been combined with East Kilbride Town and Cambuslang with most of Hamilton with its outer fridges sharing its MP with Lanark, Lesmahagow and Strathaven.

  16. “The SNP held a seat in a South Lanarkshire Council by-election with a slightly increased share of the vote.

    Stephanie Callaghan took the Hamilton North and East seat with 42.9% of first-preference votes, ahead of Labour’s Lyndsay Clelland on 33.6%.

    The share of the vote going to the Scottish Conservatives jumped by 8.4%, while Labour’s was down 9.4%.

    The by-election was triggered after local SNP councillor Lynn Adams died in September 2015.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon posted congratulations to the new councillor on Twitter, noting that the result was the 26th win for the SNP out of 29 by-elections contested since May.

    Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also took to Twitter to congratulate her party’s candidate, James Mackay, for increasing the Tory share of the vote by 8.4%.

    Turnout was just over 20%.” BBC News

    What will be of concern to Labour will not just be the fact that the SNP have won 26 of the 29 by elections in the Scottish local authorities since May by the stronger performance of the Tories against the a declining Labour vote. What’s interesting about this by election is that the Tory vote seems to have increased more than the SNP (although this could be from a very low base).

    This must give the Tories some hope of holding Ayr and Galloway & West Dumfries and also of unseating Labour in Dumfriesshire and Eastwood (instead of the SNP).

  17. Hamilton North and East had 2 Labour councillors and 1 SNP.

    When by elections occurred in this type of ward in the past, Labour could gain the by election despite their being a swing from Lab to SNP and have all three councillors.

    By elections in Scottish wards often do not allow for PR and the most dominant party would usually win (even seats that they did not previously hold).

    Now it seems that the SNP can win by elections in wards where Labour had a commanding lead.

  18. The general election result in Dumfries & Galloway suggests that the Tories are a long shot to hold the Galloway seat next year. You could argue the same for Ayr, although I accept that the Westminster boundaries disincentivise people from voting Tory there.

  19. Yes, obviously the Holyrood boundaries for Ayr are much better than the Westminster ones. Even so, if people voted the same way as they did in 2015, the SNP would win Ayr at a canter.

  20. Tories got half the Labour vote here. There vote much be concentrated in Lanark, Carluke, Bothwell and Uddingston.

  21. Why did the Tory vote increase here? It was only a marginal increase but it stands out against the rest of the central belt.

  22. I suspect that Tory voters who in the past had voted SNP on an anti – Labour tactical basis returned home.In terms of Lab to SNP swing from 2012 this was not too bad a result for Labour compared to other recent elections.

  23. People with long memories may recollect that Lanark was one of the six Scottish Unionist seats to be gained by Labour in 1959. From 1931 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1951 it was represented by Lord Dunglass (It was Labour from 1945 – 1950) and from 1951 – 1959 by Patrick Maitland, who subsequently became Earl of Lauderdale.

    Lord Dunglass was ineligible to stand in 1951 as he had become Earl of Home. He of course renounced his peeerage in 1963 very shortly after becoming Prime Minister and was then returned as MP for Perth and West Perthshire, which was then nearly the safest Conseervative seat in Britain.

  24. The Tory vote is significantly higher here than any other Westminster constituency within the Holyrood Central Scotland Region because this combines Bothwell, Uddingston, Lanark and Carluke. It does not have as much poverty as other Lanarkshire constituencies and have a stronger commuter rail links to Glasgow City Centre.

  25. Slightly amused by the first comments on this thread about why there hadn’t been any comments and that the only slight matter of interest would be whether Jimmy Hood stood again!

  26. “People with long memories may recollect that Lanark was one of the six Scottish Unionist seats to be gained by Labour in 1959. From 1931 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1951 it was represented by Lord Dunglass (It was Labour from 1945 – 1950) and from 1951 – 1959 by Patrick Maitland, who subsequently became Earl of Lauderdale.”

    In 1959 Labour’s support was concentrated in Lesmahagow. Labour took 4 Scottish Unionist seats in 1959 (Ayrshire Central, Glasgow Craigton, Glasgow Scotstoun and Lanark) when the Conservatives gained seats in England and lost I think only Oldham East and Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

    The growth of the East Kilbride new town made Lanark safer for Labour and when the constituency was split in 2 in 1974 (giving East Kilbride its own MP) Lanark was a notionally Conservative seat gained by Labour in Feb 1974.

    Boundary changes in 1983, where the constituency became Clydesdale, were to Labours advantage.

  27. Vote change in Hamilton –

    SNP + 0.2%
    Lab – 9.9%
    Con + 9.0%

    That type of vote change in Eastwood would see the Tories and not the SNP taking Eastwood from Labour.

  28. Tories second in Clydesdale

  29. Lanark and Hamilton East probably has the messiest boundaries in Scotland. The boundaries here aren’t even worthy of being used as provisional boundaries…

  30. The constituency was created because East Kilbride was regarded as sacrosanct. Hamilton is a long established town while East Kilbride only gained an MP in 1974 when Lanark was partitioned.

    The boundaries should have been –

    Lanark (with South East Kilbride)
    Rutherglen (with North East Kilbride North)
    DCT (part) – NO CHANGE

  31. It would have made more sense to move Bothwell in with Rutherglen, allowing for Hamilton to form part of a single constituency with Lanark.

  32. 2017 Local Election share from the six wards that pretty much make up this constituency show an almost 3 way tie –
    Lab 32%
    SNP 31%
    Con 28%
    Oth 9%

  33. Is it fair to assume that 16- and 17- year olds in Scotland are more likely to vote SNP than for anybody else? If so then could we see slightly higher swings away from the Nats than are currently being suggested?

  34. Well they’re certainly not Tory voters xD

  35. Incredible!!!!

    SNP 16444
    Con 16178
    Lab 16084

  36. I would imagine that if Clydesdale & Eskdale still goes ahead the Lanark & Hamilton East and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale results would transform a 4000 + 2015 notional SNP majority into a clear 2017 notional Conservative majority.

  37. Yes, Tories were tantalisingly close to more gains in Scotland – and possibly only hindered by confused tactical voting – definitely in this seat I would be sure.

  38. “If we have a second election I could see the Conservatives taking this along with Argyll & Bute, Edinburgh SW and Perth & North Perthshire.”

    ….whilst experiencing a repeat of 1997 nationally.

    OK maybe that’s an exaggeration, but a second election brings a big risk of Labour winning a majority under the current leadership.

    If the Tories weren’t so obsessed by “Brexit means Brexit” the best strategy might be to refuse to form a government and let Corbyn’s progressive alliance have a go….then win a landslide victory when it collapses and the economy tanks. Won’t happen though.

  39. 10% is quite a wide margin Plopwellian Tory.

    What’s more interesting is that the Conservatives were behind by less than 1% of the vote in Perth & North Perthshire (0.0%) and Lanark & Hamilton East (0.5%). Central Ayrshire and Edinburgh South West were under 3% at 2.8% and 2.2% respectively.

    The reason why the result was so close in this seat in particular was less to do with a strong Conservative vote here, which was approximately where it should be based on the local election results, more that the SNP vote has utterly collapsed to Labour, who held up here quite respectfully.

    The seat just so happened to have a perfect mix of Labour-voting areas (Carluke and Larkhall), Conservative-voting areas (Bothwell, Uddingston and Lanark) and SNP-voting areas (east Hamilton) which were all won on tight margins that it produced such an extraordinarily marginal result with the SNP just scrapping by, but after the boundary review that’s unlikely to happen again.

  40. I suspect any further collapse in the SNP vote would mean Lab more likely to gain in future than Con

  41. And for the record the Conservatives were 9.9% behind the SNP in Paisley & Renfrewshire North too.

  42. 360 votes separate first from third – has British politics ever had such a tight three-way marginal? This is closer than Thurrock in 2015 or Hamsptead & Kilburn in 2010.

  43. Amazing to think not that long ago this was a safe Labour seat. Now its a three-way marginal!

  44. The pre-1983 Lanark would have been won by the Conservatives.

    It was actually a notional Conservative seat (1970) gained by Labour in Feb 1974 due to East Kilbride being given its own constituency.

  45. Polltroll,

    In 1945 Liberal leader Archibald Sinclair lost his seat of Caithness and Sutherland. The Unionist victor got 5,564 votes to Labour’s 5,558 and Sinclair’s 5,503. A majority of 6 and a gap of 61 votes between first and third.

  46. @ Plopwellian Tory-
    “Central Ayrshire is another seat that hasn’t voted Tory since 1955.
    Before the election, I was hoping the Tories would get back up to 1992 levels of representation in Scotland. They came close to winning seats they haven’t held since 1987 and even since 1959!”

    That’s completely wrong.

    First of all, the pre-1983 constituency of Central Ayrshire covered a completely different area to modern day Central Ayrshire. The old Central Ayrshire seat covered the working class towns of the Garnock Valley (Beith, Dalry and Kilbirnie) alongside the whole of Kilwinning, excluding the Conservative coastal resort town of Prestwick in South Ayrshire. The last time the modern seat voted Conservative was probably 1964 or 1970.

    Secondly, in its current form the Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock constituency has not voted Conservative since 1935! People under-estimate just how working class the seat is, with high unemployment throughout the constituency and very deprivation in Cumnock, Doon Valley, southern Carrick and northern Ayr!

  47. Central Ayrshire being lost to the Tories at the time when the new town of Irvine was built.

    Kilwinning is politically similar to Irvine but only half the size and the towns of Garnock Valley (particularly Beith and Dalry) have generally been quite good areas for the Conservatives relative to their demographics.

  48. I assume that the Conservatives are now ahead in the new Clydesdale & Eskdale? Notional SNP majority of 4000 over the Tories in 2015 and perhaps even the Clydesdale Holyrood constituency.

  49. Yes the Tories were well ahead in the Scottish Parliamentary constituency of Clydesdale, polling first in 4 out of 5 wards with the SNP ahead in Clydesdale South.

  50. “Secondly, in its current form the Ayr, Carrick & Cumnock constituency has not voted Conservative since 1935! People under-estimate just how working class the seat is, with high unemployment throughout the constituency and very deprivation in Cumnock, Doon Valley, southern Carrick and northern Ayr!”

    There is still a fair bit of opencast coal mining in South Ayrshire. As such, I’m guessing that Ayr Carrick & Cumnock is now the constituency with the most coal mining in the UK….and it’s held by the Tories! Though there is a bit left in South Wales also. Wonder if this comment will tempt Plopwellian Tory to return. I still never gave him my list of coal mines by constituency for the 1992 general election.

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